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The Washington Center: Creating leaders for 25 years

TCU joined ranks with The Washington Center in 1978, only three years after the nonprofit center was founded to provide an internship program wedded to academic seminars in the nation's capital. More than 800 colleges and universities nationwide are affiliated with the center, which offers 2,000 to 3,000 internship opportunities in the private, public and nonprofit sectors each year. More than 300 TCU students are numbered among its 25,000 alumni.

Each semester more than 600 students take advantage of a variety of experiential settings -- which are not limited to the traditional Capitol Hill or political internships. Students regularly intern in embassies, government agencies and businesses. The Washington Center interns are required to work full time or a minimum of thirty-five hours a week. As a result, they are frequently given the best placements and often supervise interns from other programs.

During their semester in Washington, the center offers, among other perks, a congressional breakfast series, a presidential lecture series, the embassy visit program, small group discussions and professional workshops and help putting together their internship portfolio.

TCU students apply each fall, a year in advance of their internship, and are required to attend a noncredit preparatory seminar in the spring. Students may earn up to 15 hours of credit through this program, which is multi-disciplinary and available to students in any major field.

The center provides students with placements, supervision, and housing during their semester in the nation's capital. The primary academic advantage provided by The Washington Center is that participants receive course credit directly from their university, rather than from the program itself. This allows universities to mandate the amount and type of credit students receive, and eliminates the need to transfer credits from another institution.

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